Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cutting Through the Bullshit 1

1) I'm against protectionism NOT because I'm a corporatist. I'm against protectionism because I think that it's bad for the country, bad for the consumer, and bad for the countries whose economies we would possibly be wrecking (never mind the fact that China is one of our possible targets and those folks just happen to be one of our bankers).............2) I'm in favor of eliminating the corporate income tax (on this one, I full agree with Robert Reich) NOT because I'm a corporatist. I'm in favor of eliminating the corporate income tax because I think that it's a clumsy and obfuscatory policy that often hurts middle class people on pensions and whole life policies as much as it does the wealthy. I would MUCH prefer to raise the taxes on upper income individuals and eliminate it on capital.............3) I have never, ever, EVER, said that the rich pay too much in taxes. EVER! IN FACT, folks, under the proposal that I've been putting forth, the rich in this country would pay significantly MORE than they currently do. YES, I DO have a problem with the 60-70-80% rates that the progressives are constantly throwing around lately. But I don't oppose them because I'm a corporatist. I oppose them because I think that they're a) immoral/confiscatory and b) counterproductive (for crying out loud, even John Maynard Keynes once said that there was a point of diminishing returns).............4) As for this 37927 character, yeah, I kind of know who the fellow is. He's this hard-core paranoiac partisan freak who I used to encounter over at Lydia Cornell's blog....THREE, FOUR, YEARS AGO!!!...Let's just say that dude is obviously still harboring.

13 comments:

w-dervish said...

Yes, you have your own reasons, but a large chunk of what you desire lines up precisely with what the corporations and wealthy want. Perhaps "unknowing corporatist tool" would be a more apt description.

Will: I have never, ever, EVER, said that the rich pay too much in taxes. EVER!

I never ever suggested that you did. EVER! But you HAVE authored MULTIPLE posts worrying about the possibility of their taxes going to high. Do I need to provide links?

Will: I oppose [high taxes on the wealthy] because I think that they're... immoral/confiscatory.

So what if they are confiscatory? As for being "immoral"... that is an opinion that I do not agree with. What I think is immoral is that so few people hold such a enormous percentage of the nation's wealth. I think that is very immoral.

dmarks said...

re #1. It is bad for workers too. Especially those in export-related jobs.

dmarks said...

WD said: "But you HAVE authored MULTIPLE posts worrying about the possibility of their taxes going to high. "

Yeah, I have seen several of these. Including a recent one about how millionaires run away to avoid the higher taxes, which looks like it was present as an argument by Will against raising these taxes.

The Heathen Republican said...

Will, where do you get these people? Do they not understand the idea of centrism, where you hold some conservative positions and some progressive positions?

I'm against protectionism. I'm in favor of eliminating the corporate income tax, but it's unrealistic to think it will ever go away. I don't think the rich pay too much currently, but I'm adamantly against further increases.

Dervish, as for immorality... hopefully you would agree that there is a point where an income tax could become immoral. Perhaps we would disagree on the number, but hopefully for you there actually is a number. For me it would be 1/3... it's simply immoral for government to take more than 1/3 of what someone earns.

Maybe your number is 80% or 90%, but I hope you recognize that it can cross a line into immorality.

And the number of people holding a percentage of wealth is simply amoral. There is no immorality in a system that gives everyone the option to earn as much as they can, and some people succeed while others fail. That's an amoral system.

Any system you would propose that allows government or any other group of "deciders" to distribute our nation's wealth would impose their morality on the rest of us. Your system risks economic immorality.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

The wealthy want their top tax rates to go back up to 39.6%, wd? I was against the bailouts. I have consistently criticized Greenspan for creating a bailout/risk elimination culture. And I have consistently put forth a policy in which the wealthiest Americans would pay significantly MORE in taxes. Only in the mind of a complete and total lunatic would a person like me be considered "pro-rich".......You know who you remind me of? George W. Bush - "You're either with us or against us."

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

HR, there are a lot of concepts that wd hasn't quite grasped yet. One of them is the law of diminishing returns. He doesn't realize that once to make taxes so high, you actually get less revenue because people either don't invest or hide their money completely.

w-dervish said...

Will: ...there are a lot of concepts that wd hasn't quite grasped yet. One of them is the law of diminishing returns.

I guess Robert Reich hasn't grasped them yet either (since his tax rates are the ones I've been referencing). Funny how you site this dimwit when you advocate for no taxes on corporations.

Will: He doesn't realize that once to make taxes so high, you actually get less revenue because people either don't invest or hide their money completely.

What Will Hart doesn't realize is that higher taxes cause people to invest MORE. Because when they leave the money in the business it isn't counted as income and they don't pay income tax on it.

As for people "hiding" their money... we should increase the IRS budget to go after these tax cheats. And pass laws making it harder for people to "hide" money, and impose stiff penalties for people who are caught.

Will: You know who you remind me of? George W. Bush - "You're either with us or against us."

I've never, nor would I ever say such a thing. Compromise is necessary or nothing will ever be accomplished. I'm arguing for what I think would work best, not what I would be willing to settle for if I were to negotiate with Will Hart.

Will: ...I have consistently put forth a policy in which the wealthiest Americans would pay significantly MORE in taxes.

I'm not convinced that would be the case. Also, the corporations whose taxes you'd reduce to zero would use that windfall to further influence our elections/buy our politicians. I think it wouldn't be long before the capitol gains tax rate was lowered or eliminated after the Will Hart tax plan became law.

Heathen Republican: Dervish, as for immorality... hopefully you would agree that there is a point where an income tax could become immoral.

No. I would not agree with that. Also, 1/3 is less then the top tax under Clinton... which is where Will thinks they should be returned to. So I guess Will and I are both immoral (and Will thought it was only me).

Heathen Republican: Any system you would propose that allows government or any other group of "deciders" to distribute our nation's wealth would impose their morality on the rest of us.

So what? We already have that system (although we do nowhere near enough redistributing). You said you were OK with taxing a person at 1/3 or less of teir income, so... another group of "deciders" setting tax rates is immoral... unless Heathen Republican (or someone who agrees with him) is one of the deciders?

I'm not buying the "my morality is better than your morality" argument. Sounds like nonsense to me.

The Heathen Republican said...

Dervish

"I'm not buying the "my morality is better than your morality" argument. Sounds like nonsense to me."

Yes, it sounds like nonsense to me, too. I would never want to get into that kind of argument, and I worry that you are willfully missing the point.

The last thing I want to do is debate what an immoral tax rate would be -- we wouldn't agree and it would come down to opinions. My point is that there is a point where tax rates become immoral.

Your response: "No. I would not agree with that."

How unfortunate. I guess the only conclusion is that an income tax rate of 99% is perfectly moral to you. I invite you to correct the record because any rational person who reads that will not have a favorable opinion of you. Any thinking person can acknowledge that taxes can reach immoral rates, even if we don't agree on what that rate is.

That's my entire point, so the rest of this is just gravy...

"Also, 1/3 is less then the top tax under Clinton... which is where Will thinks they should be returned to. So I guess Will and I are both immoral..."

First, it's not a statement about yours or Will's immorality; it's a statement about the tax rate. And it's just my opinion that 1/3 is the top edge.

Second, you're a smart man, so surely you realize that a tax rate of 39.6% does not mean an individual actually pays 39.6% in income tax. Even at that rate, most Americans will still not pay more than 1/3 of their income in taxes, so I wouldn't say 39.6% is necessarily immoral.

In my world, I would allow a top rate of 35% (or 39.6% or whatever) with a cap at 33% so that no one ever has to pay more than 1/3.

"...another group of "deciders" setting tax rates is immoral... unless Heathen Republican (or someone who agrees with him) is one of the deciders?"

I am not the decider. I don't claim to be. I'm a meaningless blogger who is expressing an opinion. If you think trying to make me sound like I think I have the only opinion that counts, you're being underhanded and must have already lost the argument if that's the best you've got.

The American people and their elected representatives should be the deciders. They've decided so far on the Bush/Obama tax rates. But a group of elitists, whom you seem to agree with, seem to think the American people (and their representatives) got it wrong and we need everyone at the top to pay more.

w-dervish said...

Heathen Republican: How unfortunate. I guess the only conclusion is that an income tax rate of 99% is perfectly moral to you.

I'm not going to condemn a number just because it is high. I'd have to know the particulars first. If some lawmaker were proposing such a rate I'd want to know who it applied to and why that lawmaker thought it was justifiable.

We live in a Democracy, not a dictatorship, so if a 99 percent upper tax rate passed and it was what the people wanted... I wouldn't call it "immoral".

Heathen Republican: I invite you to correct the record because any rational person who reads that will not have a favorable opinion of you.

Record corrected. Also, I think it more likely that any rational person reading this would have an unfavorable opinion of you... for suggesting high taxes are "immoral". There are quite a few countries in Europe where the taxes are quite high. Are all the people (who support the high taxes) in countries with Democratic Socialist governments immoral?

Heathen Republican: Any thinking person can acknowledge that taxes can reach immoral rates, even if we don't agree on what that rate is.

I reject your thesis that high taxes could be "immoral" in a Democracy.

The American people and their elected representatives should be the deciders. They've decided so far on the Bush/Obama tax rates.

I strongly disagree that the American people have decided this. Opinion polls show overwhelming support for raising taxes on the wealthy/rolling back the bush tax cuts. What I think this shows is that we are moving away from Democracy toward plutocracy. IMO the current tax rates are immoral.

In conclusion I think we should be worrying more about tax rates being too low instead of too high. The American people have not got it wrong. They've got it right. The problem is the "elected representatives" aren't representing their constituents (the majority of whom think we should roll back the bush tax cuts for the wealthy) and should be voted out.

Unfortunately elections are most often decided in favor of the candidate who spends the most. Which means the candidate who is elected will more often than not do the bidding of the wealthy elites that paid to get him or her installed in office.

#37927 said...

For some reason will has decided to DELETE POSTS;

Not something a supposed moderate would do if they wanted to hear all sides of a discussion.

But then again will has always cherry picked his data and attacked anyone left of his much harder then he comments to those right of him.

dmarks said...

#37: Only someone on the hard left with a persecution complex would see that. Someone who believes that the left should always be above criticism.

If you look at it from the center. Will is rather even-handed with his "darts".

dmarks said...

WD said; "Opinion polls show overwhelming support for raising taxes on the wealthy/rolling back the bush tax cuts"

Probably some misleading poll. How many would favor it if they knew the fact that the Bush tax cuts mostly benefited the middle class?

As for you "I strongly disagree that the American people have decided this", you are merely informed about this. The American people elected the representatives to do what they are doing. The vote is the poll that matters far more than misleadingly-worded between-election polls.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

37927, I told you that you were not welcome here. Please, go elsewhere. There are many sites such as wd's and Sue's in which you can conspiratorize and attack me to your heart's content.